Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor reacts to Jimmy Butler situation at owners’ meetings

Thibodeau - who oversees Layden, the point person on trade talks with outside GMs - wants to hold onto Butler and navigate the season with him. If Thibodeau is destined to get fired at season's end, those familiar with this thinking say he'd rather do so reaching the playoffs for a second consecutive year with the benefit of Butler on the roster. Butler's camp has downplayed a fractured locker room as the reason for wanting to leave Minnesota, but the issues between him and the other star players - particularly Andrew Wiggins - on the team were evident after news of Butler's trade request leaked.

In truth, even though they won't get near the return Jimmy Butler should warrant, Taylor and the organization's best move could be to get a deal done as quickly as possible.

Butler, 29, is entering the final year on his contract and can walk this summer as a free agent so it makes sense that the Wolves would trade him before the February trade deadline, instead of getting nothing in return.

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It's also worth noting that Butler didn't include the Lakers on his shortlist of preferred trade destinations, which now include the New York Knicks, the Brooklyn Nets, and the Los Angeles Clippers.

It's a double-edged sword for the Minnesota front office. Taylor reportedly told those attending the recent NBA Board of Governors meeting that Butler is, in fact, available.

This report comes right after Knicks president Steve Mills told the media the team wouldn't trade for a player they believe can be acquired in free agency.

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